By: Mitchell Knapp on June 7th, 2017
In the new summer issue of Westchester Home Magazine, Scenic was featured as one of the four Outstanding Landscaping Features in the NY area.
Our project that was featured is in Pelham Manor, NY. This backyard has everything, from a pergola covered seating area, custom fireplace, ample seating, outdoor kitchen, pizza oven, multiple televisions, spa, and bar area. This is a dream backyard for entertaining and relaxing in every season. Read the entire interview below, and pick up the Summer Issue today to read the feature and see the other award winning jobs in the Westchester area.
NY Outstanding Landscaping Interview Questions
- What was the overall scope of this project? What did you start with and what were the client’s must-haves?
-This client was working with SDR Design for the interior design of their new house. We were brought in to execute the exterior construction and landscape, and assist in blending it seamlessly to the style of the home. When we came onto the project, we were brought in the help fabricate the outdoor living lifestyle, while helping the beautification process of the whole property.
The overall scope was to create a whole new outdoor space in an existing lot, that the entire family of 6 could enjoy all year. They wanted this space to be used as an extension of their home. It started with very well constructed large retaining walls, reworking an existing sports court to create more open space, designating new garden areas and keeping a clean and consistent design throughout. The client’s must haves were ample space for entertaining, dining and relaxing, as well as garden areas to enhance and add colors throughout the seasons. It was important to this family to have bursts of color and pretty views from their back windows to admire while indoors.
Marmiro Stone provided all the marble which came overseas from Turkey.
- How long did it take to complete this project?
– This was a year long project due to the complexity and coordination involved. There was very detailed craftsmanship needed with many of the pieces being fabricated right on site. The pre-planning stage takes lots of time and oversight as well, to ensure every detail is handled and planned accordingly. Many of the materials were also coming in from overseas which adds time to the process as well. We were very diligent in planning for every element, from the customized benches and bar features, to the high-end wet laid walls; all of this takes time to meet the client’s expectations and ensure the utmost precision.
- What should homeowners consider when putting an entertainment system or TV outdoors?
-It is important to understand that there is a lot of planning involved with audio and speakers for an outdoor space. The organization of the electrical aspect must be very thought out, and having the right specialist on site is crucial. This process involves coordination between masons and electricians during the early planning stages to be done correctly. You will need to consider where to place the equipment so it can remain out of sight and not become an eye sore. Consider your cost and budget as well. For extensive wiring, the price as well as the timeline for the project will increase.
- What is all included in this outdoor kitchen?
– This kitchen included a pizza oven, stainless steel Lynx appliances were used for BBQ and fridge. There is a garbage pullout and a cocktail station, large marble spacious counter space with a stainless-steel sink, dishwasher, beer fridge, and ample bar seating. There is a customized under counter shelf space that we included for the pizza oven to be stored while it is not in use. There are also LED lights underneath counter tops, so the family can utilize the kitchen at night as well. There is a separate outdoor TV area over the kitchen as well, that everyone can enjoy from the bar.
- It looks like this family likes to entertain. What direction did they give you in terms of that?
-SDR designer had ideas of what they wanted we helped to execute them. This family knew they wanted to create various outdoor living rooms to utilize in every season. From a covered fireplace area to a spacious dining area, to a spa patio space, there is something for everyone to enjoy at all times.
- 6. How much seating is there? It feels like a lot along with some “hidden” or built in benches.
-There is plenty of seating throughout this entire project. Around the kitchen bar holds seating for at least eight people, there is a large outdoor dining table nearby that can seat up to ten at once, with movement space purposely planned around table area. The fireplace area has couches and built in benches made of stone. There are large oversized chairs and couches for relaxing seating space. Even the fireplaces hearth is very large to accommodate extra seating with custom bench areas. The lower spa area also has custom bench seating for those sitting around the jacuzzi or watching the outdoor TV in that space.
All the spa equipment was hidden, the maintenance system and control systems are out of sight allowing the spa area to blend seamlessly into the patio space as if it belonged there all along.
7. How many TVs are there?
- How many fire pits or places are there?
- How many different areas or terraces are there and what purpose do each serve?
-Kitchen, Dining Room, Fireplace Room, Spa Area, and garden rooms. All of these rooms serve as a space to enjoy and entertain with friends and family.
- What is the biggest mistake homeowners tend to make when they embark on large outstanding landscaping projects like this?
-Not taking the time to plan properly. These clients were very well thought out and involved throughout the process. They made sure to hire and work with a great diligent team. The biggest mistake we come across in this industry is not being proactive – It is important to trust the professionals, hire the right team, and make sure you find specialists you can trust that will keep your best interest in mind.
- What are some of your favorite elements of this project?
-The combination of materials and the details found in the craftsmanship and stonework. There are rolling hedges in landscape, with rose gardens that are tucked behind boxwood hedges. Urns throughout the property that hold seasonal colorful arrangements. The beautiful mature landscape we brought onto this property perfectly balances the construction of the home. We made sure the landscape looked as though it belonged on the property all long by bringing in larger pieces, so it did not look brand new.
The clients were great to work with and positive and enjoyed being involved which is always an added reward for us. Collaborating with SDR Design and Marmiro Stone, as a large group of design professionals was beneficial. We were all able to work in a beautiful setting, bringing superior craftsmanship, outstanding landscaping and a wide variety of elements together to bring this project to life.